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Radio Free Asia

Taiwan welcomes Canada's Indo-Pacific Strategy

China calls it completely wrong, labeling it 'geo-confrontation.'

By RFA Staff 2022.11.29 -- One day after Canada launched its Indo-Pacific Strategy, Taiwan "sincerely" welcomed the document while a Chinese government spokesperson said China "expresses its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition."

"Canada's interpretation of China's domestic and foreign policies is completely wrong," a spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said in a statement.

Canada's perception of the leadership of the Communist Party of China is also wrong, the spokesperson said, as it is "the choice of history, the choice of the people."

The Embassy's spokesperson said that "it is completely wrong for Canada to engage in geo-confrontation in the Asia-Pacific region" and called on Ottawa to "abandon the Cold War mentality," and stop actions that "harm China's interests."

"If the Canadian side acts recklessly in spite of its own strength, it will surely suffer a shameful failure, and it will also receive a strong counterattack from the Chinese side," the statement warned.

The Global Times, a sister publication of the Chinese Communist Party's flagship People's Daily, also published an editorial condemning the Canadian approach.

It said that by naming the document 'Indo-Pacific Strategy', the Canadian government is "copying" its ally and neighbor the U.S.

The new strategy "not only harms Canada's interests, but also hurts the dignity of the country," the Chinese newspaper said, arguing that it "strengthens Canada's subordinate position to Washington in terms of diplomacy."

It also warned that the country would be taught an expensive lesson, saying: "Canada's tuition fees will be high if it follows Washington's lead blindly."

'Like-minded partners'

On Sunday Ottawa released the long-awaited strategy outlining its policy towards the Indo-Pacific region and clearly defining China as "an increasingly disruptive global power."

Over the next five years, Canada will invest nearly CA$2.3 billion (U.S.$1.7 billion) in different initiatives to boost its economic and strategic role in the region, according to the new strategy.

CA$720 million (U.S.$535.8 million) will be invested in boosting its naval presence and increase Canadian armed forces' participation in military exercises in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Canadian government said it will continue to work with partners "to push back against any unilateral actions that threaten the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, as well as the East and South China Seas."

Since 2021, Canadian warships have taken part in some U.S.-led Taiwan Strait transits that China denounced as "provocative" as Beijing considers Taiwan a Chinese province and the Taiwan issue its "internal affair."

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said it "affirms and sincerely welcomes the new policy directions pronounced in Canada's Indo-Pacific Strategy, especially the importance placed on enhancing cooperation with Taiwan and maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait."

The document refers to Taiwan multiple times, it noted, showing Canada's commitment to "foster economic and people-to-people ties with Taiwan while supporting Taiwan's resilience."

"Taiwan and Canada are like-minded partners, share the values of freedom and democracy, and work jointly to safeguard the rules-based international order," the ministry said.

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